12th Oct2015

Weekend Round Up October 10-11

by Michael Chandler

CAM goes to COTA 5 17 13 Michael Chandler CAMautoMag-20

Many things happened this weekend, perhaps you missed something.  Don’t worry, we did too, BUT we’re bringing you the highlights right here!

Craig Lowndes Gets 6th Bathurst 1000 Victory

Steven Richards was also driving the car, but not at the same time as Lowndes.  Lowndes did it without hands for a bit though, so that’s something.  The win in Australia’s great race was Holden’s 13th.  Lowndes’s Red Bull Racing Australia teammate, Jamie Whincup, set a lap record in the closing laps of the race while in 18th place. Mark Winterbottom and Steve Owen in the Pepsi Max Crew Ford Falcon finished the race in second, fighting back after receiving two black flag penalties.  Garth Tander and Warren Luff, in the Holden Racing Team Commodore, rounded out the podium.  The first ever all female driver line up of Simona de Silvestro and Renee Gracie finished the race in 21st.

Mercedes Locks Up F1 Constructor’s Championship

 

Mercedes, as a team, needed to score a total of 3 more points than Ferrari to secure the championship.  Lewis Hamilton winning the race overall helped, Nico Rosberg retiring didn’t.  With Sebastian Vettel in second and Kimi Raikkonen in fifth made it look like Mercedes would have to wait, but then Kimi challenged Valtteri Bottas in a turn and proceeded to punt his fellow countryman.  Kimi, who knows what he’s doing, was awarded a 30 second penalty for this act of Fin on Fin violence. That 30 seconds put him in 8th, and that allowed Mercedes to win back-to-back constructor’s titles.

Patrick Dempsey Won His First WEC Race

 

The Fuji 6 Hour was a wet affair, but Patrick Dempsey and Marco Seefried didn’t seem to mind as they took the win in the GTE-Am class.  The win is Dempsey’s first in World Endurance Championship competition, and was another win for manufacturer from Stuttgart.  Porsche finished 1-2 in LMP1, with the #18 919 Hybrid being ordered to let the #17 of Mark Webber, Brendon Hartly and Timo Bernhard take over the lead.  The reason for the order was because the driver line up in the #17 car has a better chance of winning the driver’s championship.

G-Drive Punts KCMG to Take Lead in WEC LMP2 Championship

Entering the race KCMG was ahead of G-Drive for the LMP2 Championship.  During the race, both G-Drive drivers (Romain Rusinov in the #26 and Gustovo Yacaman in the #28) mixed it up with the lone KCMG entry, driven by Richard Bradley.  Rusinov battled hard, and made contact with Bradley.  The Stewards ruled the contact part of racing for the lead and issued no penalties.  They were both on the lead lap, the #28 of Gustavo Yacaman was a lap down.  After the final fuel stops, Yacaman spun Bradley, which forced the KCMG car to pit for a new tire.  After fighting back to third place, Yacaman then punted the KCMG.  KCMG received a DNF, and Yacaman’s actions are under investigation.  As of now, the #26 G-Drive car holds a 12 point lead over KCMG’s lone #47 car in the LMP2 Championship.

Joey Logano Wins In Charlotte, But This Happened Too

 

Kyle Busch (in the pink #18) kinda looked like he was going to duck into the pits, and Kyle Larson (in the #42) decided he wanted in too.  Busch didn’t get on pit lane, at least not by choice.  Kyle Larson, from high on the track, came all the way down in a gloriously failed attempt to pit.  Larson hit Busch, and the Commitment Cone, and both wound up on pit lane.  Larson managed to not hit the wall after spinning, and they both managed to stay on the lead lap.

Fredric Aasbo Wins in Irwindale

unnamed

He had a commanding lead heading into Forumla D’s final event of the season, and he kept it.  The win secured his Formula D championship, his Formula D World Championship, and helped Scion and Hankook lock up their respective championships in the series as well.

And there you have it, all the weekend’s highlights in one place so you can get on with your day.

*Article and Photos are copyright of CAMautoMag.Com and their respective owners.

16th Sep2015

Center Point Seeks Restraining Order to Block Sale of MMP

by Michael Chandler

WERC endurance race 2015 MMP Michael Chandler CAMautoMag-12

Just when everything was looking good for the future of racing in Tooele, someone has to come along and spoil that.  Center Point Management, aka Andrew Cartwright, has filed suit against Tooele County and Mitime, the company who has agreed to buy the facility.  They’ve requested an injunction and a restraining order blocking the sale of Miller Motorsports Park to Mitime.  For those who have no idea what I’m talking about, let me fill you in on how we got here:

  • The Miller family announced they would not be renewing their lease of the property that the track sits on
  • The county sought people to buy the track so they wouldn’t be stuck with a track they couldn’t afford to operate
  • Mitime, a subsidiary of Geely (the people who own Volvo, and a large auto manufacturer in their own right) and Center Point made proposals.
    • Mitime’s includes upgrading the track to higher FIA grades, building a small oval, and establishing manufacturing facilities on sight
    • Center Point’s included rezoning for residential development, and promises to make “best efforts” to keep the racing school and tenants
  • Mitime was declared the winning bidder, despite offering less money than Center Point
  • Andrew Cartwright suddenly began touting the sale as illegal and un-American

And here we are.  In the documents filed Center Point is claiming “irreparable harm” if the sale goes through, and that the sale was/is illegal because it wasn’t the highest bid.  Honestly, I think the claims are ridiculous.  Center Point won’t be harmed because they didn’t win the bid, and us locals won’t be harmed because we’ll have a track to race on in the future.  Residential developments near racetracks aren’t good, they lead to things like noise complaints, which lead to noise restrictions on the track, which means teams have to fit quieter exhausts to the cars, which means they have to spend lots of money on one-off exhausts for a single race.  Eventually those complaints will make the track unprofitable, and then it’ll become more houses or condos and we’ll have to travel out of state to race.  Or in our case, cover races.

TrackStar1.com has the motion for the restraining order and the memorandum with all of their claims.   Hat tip to Jerry Carson, a local motorcycle racer, for bringing this to our attention.

17th Aug2015

Chinese Company to Buy MMP?

by Michael Chandler

NASA Utah 2015 Round 6 Michael Chandler CAMautoMag-16

According to KUTV, a Chinese company will be buying Miller Motorsports Park.  This news came as a surprise to us, but not as big of a surprise as it was to the other bidders.  Andrew Cartwright, in an interview with Daniel Woodruff of KUTV said:

I really don’t know what happened in the final fifteen minutes or what went down, but I know that this just doesn’t add up.  When you do the math, it just doesn’t add up

What makes this even more interesting/concerning is that, according to sources, the Chinese company’s bid wasn’t the highest bid.

The county commissioners will be holding a vote tomorrow (August 18) on the buyer of the property.  What does this mean for us, the people who frequent the track and have been for some years?  Your guess is as good as ours.  Hopefully there won’t be any dramatic changes, and the track we know and love remains the track we know and love.  We’ll have more for you as we have it.

Link to KUTV story: http://kutv.com/news/local/sources-chinese-company-to-buy-miller-motorsports-park

08th May2015

Miller Motorsports Park to Cease Operations in October

by Michael Chandler

479178606_c5292a3a5a_b

The Larry H. Miller Group of Companies has elected not to renew its lease with Tooele County and will cease operation of Miller Motorsports Park at the end of the racing season on October 31, 2015. A full schedule of racing events, driving schools, public karting and group activities will be held this summer as planned.

Gail Miller, owner of the Larry H. Miller Group of Companies, stated: “On behalf of my family, I would like to thank all of those who have supported the track over the years, both locally and worldwide, for their enthusiasm and use of the facility.

What does this mean for us, the people who have supported the track over the years?  We’ve spent hours racing on its surfaces, hiking around the perimeter of the track to find the perfect place for photos, sliding around the paddock, and countless days spectating the amazing events that have come through the facility.  We’ve stared in awe at the cars in the museum, and have frequented the shops that call Miller Motorsports Park home.  What happens now?

Miller Motorsports Park cost a ton of money.  Around $100,000,000.  Just walking away makes no sense, so perhaps they’re trying to find a buyer.  Hopefully that is the case, and hopefully it’s someone who understands racing and not an investment group that only sees the track as a potential profit center.  The last thing we want to see happen in Tooele is an American version of the fiasco that has surrounded the ownership situation of the Nurburgring.

However, a buyer might be scared off if the state chooses to build the new prison next door…  On land that the Miller Group owns, and offered to the state for that purpose.

 

04th Feb2015

Salt City Drift 2015 Schedule

by Michael Chandler

10968427_10152612558450843_783397293275220942_n

Salt City Drift released their schedule last night to much fanfare.  Rumors were that an entirely new venue would be in the mix, but that wasn’t the case.  An old venue does make a comeback though: the oval at Rocky Mountain Raceway!  It’s been a few years, but half of the season will be spent there.

Why is RMR a cool venue? #1: grandstands #2: banked turns.

Here’s a list of dates and locations for the upcoming season

  • Saturday, March 14: The Midway at Miller Motorsports Park
  • Friday, April 24: Rocky Mountain Raceway Oval
  • Friday, May 15: Rocky Mountain Raceway Oval
  • Saturday, July 11: West Paddock at Miller Motorsports Park
  • Friday, August 21: Rocky mountain Raceway Oval
  • Saturday, September 19: West Paddock at Miller Motorsports Park

Head over to the Salt City Drift Facebook Page for more information about registration as the first date gets closer.

09th Aug2014

TUDOR United Sports Car Championship Gets GT3 Class Cars In 2016

by Michael Chandler

SEMA 2013 CAMautoMag Michael Chandler (40 of 160)

 

Yes you read that right.  Along with changes to Prototype, GT Le Mans, and Prototype Challenge; IMSA announced the changes that would be coming to the GT Daytona class.  Here’s a quick little run down of what will be new and different, and when it will be new and different:

Prototype

Through 2016 it will be the same: Daytona Prototypes, Automobile Club l’Quest (ACO) LM P2 cars and the Deltawing.  Starting in 2017 there will be a “globally unified Prototype format” for the IMSA TUDOR United Sportscar Championship, FIA World Endurance Championship, and the a fore mentioned ACO.  This new format will have a vehicle life of three years, and it will still feature mostly professional drivers, with some pro/am drivers in the mix.

GT Le Mans

It is basically ACO GTE cars, and in 2016 there will be new GTE specifications.  Along with those there will be a planned vehicle life of three years.  Still a bunch of factory back teams, mostly professional drivers with some pro/am drivers competing as well.

Prototype Challenge

This class will still be a spec class, if you will.  Everyone uses the Oreca FLM09 chassis and a 6.2L Chevrolet V8.  After 2016 the class will change, but only after the cost, performance levels and design of the new LMP3 chassis and new Prototype are finalized.

GT Daytona

Through the end of the 2015 season, no changes.  2016 is when full on FIA GT3 specs will be adopted for all the cars in the class.  That means the full aerodynamic package, ABS and traction control seen on your favorite GT3 carswill now bee seen on your favorite GTD cars!  Naturally they won’t just let the teams go whole hog the whole season.  There will be an “Adjustment of Performance” process done all season long using weight and restrictors.  And as always, a mix of professional and amateur drivers are required for the lineup of each team.  So long as this guy doesn’t show up I think we’ll all be ok.

And that is the big TUDOR news ahead of the Road America race.  That race airs on Fox Sports 1 starting at 4:30PM local time on Sunday.

Words by Michael Chandler.  Photos by Michael Chandler and Tommy Ratsapasith

*Article and Photos are copyright of CAMAutoMag.Com and their respective owners.
23rd Jul2014

NCWTS Mudsummer Classic Is Just Fantastic

by Michael Chandler

The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series is at Eldora Speedway for their Mudsummer Classic. I should be on my way to a junkyard to harvest parts for Big Rhonda, but I’m firmly planted on this couch watching a practice session. Why is this note worthy?

2013-NCWTS-Eldora-Tuesday-No54OnTrack-072313-640x330

Because it’s on dirt. Overly powerful, tube framed trucks not intended to be sliding around in the dirt doing just that. Fox Sports 1 is where to watch practice (9:30-11am), qualifying (3-4pm), and the actual race which starts at 7pm mountain time.

Words by Michael Chandler, photo courtesy of American Racing Network.

*Article and Photos are copyright of  CAMautoMag.com and their respective owners
11th Jul2014

Mercedes AMG Petronas, Suspension, and a Man in Lederhosen

by Michael Chandler
mercedes-amg-petronas-previews-the-2014-malaysian-grand-prix-78898_1

Photo Credit: Daimler AG

As has been reported by many people (many, many, many people) the FIA is looking to ban the front and rear interconnected suspension system.  Why did they do this? Well, first I need to explain exactly what it is first.

Basically it is a system that keeps the cars’ ride heights as stable as possible, using hydraulics and witchcraft.  Technically it is only supposed to work to keep the front and rear ride heights as similar as possible through the corners.  TECHNICALLY.  One team (definitely not Mercedes AMG Petronas) has accused another (probably Mercedes AMG Petronas) of advancing the system to also work left to right.  According to Charlie Whiting, FIA race director, the system’s primary use is now aerodynamic, which makes the whole system illegal for everyone!

formula-one-world-championship-4566

Photo Credit: Force India

Well sort of.  Mr. Whiting views the system as illegal, but it hasn’t actually been banned yet.  The teams have an opportunity to push the ban to the start of the 2015 season, but that’s probably not going to happen.  For the ban to be pushed back there needs to be a unanimous vote, and that’s not going to happen.  Force India doesn’t use a FRIC system, so if it’s banned they don’t lose anything, and if someone violates the ban and is excluded from the results Force India could definitely benefit.  Caterham and Sauber could close the gap between them and Marussia, who are on the bleeding edge of suiting the system to their car.

Who looks to lose the most from the ban?  Well, according to lederhosen model Valtteri Bottas

“Yes! Maybe some teams could be more affected than us, I would say.”

So there you have it.  Mercedes could come back to the pack (in Germany of all places) because their suspension control system will be banned because at least three teams have no reason to not ban it.  And also a Valtteri Bottas quote to boot.

The German Grand Prix will be happening on July 20 at Hockenheim.  You can watch it on CNBC starting at 6:00 AM (Mountain), or on the internet somewhere. The choice is yours.

Words by Michael Chandler, photos as credited.

 *Article and Photos are copyright of CAMAutoMag.Com and their respective owners.
Pages:«123